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The East: Three Bank Governors Ranked Among World's Best

  • Robert Lyle

Hong Kong, 22 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Three Central Bank governors from Central and East European nations -- Poland, Hungary and Ukraine -- were honored by an international finance magazine today after being graded among the top six of their number in the world.

New York-based "Global Finance Magazine" hosted a reception in Hong Kong to honor the three governors, who had given given a top rating of "A." Only three other central bankers, America's Allan Greenspan, Canada's Gordon Tlheissen and Spain's Luis Angel Rojo received the "A" rating.

Poland's Central Bank Governor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz was rated in the top group because of her general solid administration of the bank. Said the magazine: "Were monetary policy left to Poland's politicians, the zloty might well be facing the sort of crisis that leveled the Czech koruna this spring. The difference has been Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz."

Hungary's Gyorgi Suranyi was given credit for much of Hungary's "terrific progress in the past two and a half years," said the magazine. Suranyi drafted the original law on central bank independence, and then built the bank into a solid, and independent institution, which is leading Hungary toward European Union (EU) membership.

Ukraine's Victor Yushchenko was honored by the magazine for his work in bringing inflation down in Ukraine, helping to introduce the hryvna, and for his work now on rules on foreign investment and reforming Ukraine's banking sector.

The magazine calls him "Ukraine's most respected reformer."

The central bankers are in all Hong Kong attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Surani and Yushchenko are their nation's governors of the IMF, Gronkiewicz-Waltz is Poland's governor for the bank.

Only one other central banker from the region came close to the top group. Latvia's Einar Repse was given a "B" rating by the magazine. It called him "the most trusted man in Latvia.